The Barnstable County Public Health Nursing Division, located within the Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment, offers a wide variety of health-related activities and services to Barnstable County residents. Our professional nursing staff directs efforts toward educating people about health issues, investigating health problems, providing immunizations, and engaging in community partnerships to identify and solve health problems.
The Division’s Public Immunization Program is one of our most utilized services. It provides a cost effective, convenient option to anyone seeking vaccination, including those without insurance. Due to capacity issues at many local pediatric practices, we provide childhood immunizations for families that might not otherwise be able to access to them. The Program also offers all travel vaccines and is listed on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s travel clinic website.
Monkeypox on Cape Cod: What You Should Know
Monkeypox is considered rare and does not spread easily between people without close contact. The threat of monkeypox to the general U.S. population remains LOW. Nonetheless, it’s important for the public to be aware of symptoms and transmission, and remain vigilant in order to prevent further spread of the virus.
Stay Summertime Safe!
New England summers can bring hot temperatures and oppressive humidity, especially in July and August. Summertime activity, whether it be recreation, work, or exercise, must be balanced with actions that help the body cool itself to prevent heat-related illness. This is especially important for older adults, pregnant women, young children, athletes, and people who work outdoors.
Public Health Nursing Programs and Services
The Barnstable County Public Health Nursing Division offers all immunizations, including flu vaccine, to County residents.
Who is this program available to?
How much do the vaccines cost?
We are able to bill most insurance providers. If we are unable to bill your provider, the immunizations are offered at low cost.
For those who are uninsured, state supplied vaccine is available FREE OF CHARGE. In addition, Barnstable County participates in the federal Vaccine for Children program, which allows uninsured children under the age of 18 to receive free immunizations.
What vaccines are available?
We offer the following vaccines:
- Influenza (Flu) – regular & high dose
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Rabies (pre-exposure)
- Shingles – Shingrix
In addition, we also offer the following “travel” vaccines:
- Yellow Fever
How do I get an appointment?
Appointments are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays 8:30am to 4:00pm. To schedule an appointment, call 508-375-6617.
Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but TB bacteria can attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain. Not everyone infected with TB bacteria becomes sick. As a result, two TB-related conditions exist: latent TB infection (LTBI) and TB disease. If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal.
The TB skin test, also known as the Mantoux tuberculin skin test, is the most common way to diagnose tuberculosis. A tiny amount of fluid called tuberculin is injected just below the skin in your forearm. It contains inactive TB protein. It takes approximately two to three days for a reaction, if any, to occur.
Our nurses are trained to administer and read TB skin tests. Call (508) 375-6617 to schedule an appointment for a skin test and subsequent read.
For more information on TB, visit Basic TB Facts.
Schools, fire and police departments, and long-term care facilities may contact the Public Health Nursing Division to schedule a flu clinic during flu season. Nurses coordinate registration and perform vaccinations on site. A link for participants to pre-register online is provided.
*Minimum of 25 flu shots per clinic.
The ‘Ask a Public Health Nurse’ program, in collaboration with the regional Hunger Network and the Barnstable County Extension, continues to provide food pantry clients the opportunity (twice a month) to have basic health screenings (blood pressure and blood sugar), ask any health related questions, get information about health related resources, and have access to health related literature. Clients may access this service before or after they receive their groceries. There is no fee or charges for the ‘Ask a Public Health Nurse’ program, to the clients or the food pantry.
We are currently serving in 10 different locations: Harwich Family Pantry, Falmouth Service Center, Sandwich Food Pantry, Bourne Food Pantry, Christ the King in Mashpee Food Pantry, Salvation Army Free Lunch program, WIC office in Hyannis, The Baby Center, The Vets Outreach Center Food Pantry, and the Yarmouth Food Pantry.
In conjunction with local housing authorities, health screenings are offered free of charge to residents of subsidized housing at the housing location. Screenings include blood pressure, pulse, cholesterol, glucose, HDL, bone density, skin analysis, and hearing. We also provide a nutritionist and access to various other human services organizations.
Tick populations are abundant on Cape Cod, putting residents and visitors at risk for any one of the various diseases ticks carry. Our goal is to intensify awareness about ticks; what they look like, their preferred habitats, how to perform a tick-check, and prevention strategies for avoiding bites.
The Division offers free 30-minute educational tick & Lyme awareness presentations to Cape Cod schools and community groups that are specifically tailored to the audience and age group. Our public health nurse has even been known to don a homemade tick costume to bring awareness to elementary school children.
Support Groups/Task Force:
Cape Cod is known to have one of the highest skin cancer rates in the United States, with plentiful beaches and outdoor recreation opportunities, not to mention over 50 tanning beds.
The Public Health Nursing Division offers sun safety and skin cancer awareness programs to all age groups across the region. Our UV Skin Analyzer allows the user to view invisible UV damage to their skin from sun exposure. This tool is often requested by schools prior to prom season to raise awareness regarding the dangers of indoor tanning.
In cooperation with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MA DPH) and local boards of health throughout the County, the Division holds access to the MA Virtual Epidemiological Network (MAVEN). This allows the County Public Health Nurse to view and monitor case numbers of infectious diseases in real-time. Local boards of health in any of the County’s 15 towns can request this service, which helps to identify and address trends in commonly reported diseases.
In collaboration with the Municipal Health Group, we offer health screenings to all municipal employees. This includes blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol, and HDL testing, skin analysis, hearing test, and bone density screenings. All screenings are accompanied by corresponding literature and health counseling by nurses.
We offer free health and wellness fairs to any nonprofit community group on Cape Cod. Applicable literature, services, and materials are tailored to the age groups and demographics of the audience. We also provide health screenings and important information regarding preventative care.
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